There’s no right way to compose music; but there’s no wrong way, either. If there were, my methods would certainly sway towards flawed territory. I’ve perplexed others before with my reluctance to compose music in silence. I like to have some sort of music on while writing, or even better, the TV. I guess I crave a certain zeitgeist-ness embedded in those airwaves that I hope sinks into my own work via osmosis.
My habits and superstitions continue through the premiere and even beyond. When I attend or participate in a performance of my work, I always don my absolute finest designer underwear. Weird, I know—but hey, some people have lucky socks, I’ve got lucky knickers. And I certainly wouldn’t want failure racked-up to some laundry fiasco before the gig even gets underway.
My final quirk is my unwillingness to revise anything I’ve written. I’ll certainly add something to a finished piece if need be, but I never change, say, a note here and there or delete an entire passage or anything like that. Using an eraser is never an option. I’m a huge believer in first instincts and happy mistakes, or maybe I’m just lazy. Either way, it’s a good thing that no two composers work in exactly the same way. What are some of your compositional rituals and anomalies?